No. 6 Stanford Closes First Half Of Pac-10 Play Against Arizona Schools

Oct. 19, 2009

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THIS WEEK: Stanford returns to The Farm to wrap up the first half of conference play against Arizona State and No. 16 Arizona. The Cardinal will face the Sun Devils on Friday at 7 p.m. before taking on the Wildcats on Sunday at 1 p.m.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Cardinal will remain home for a second straight week as it hosts No. 18 USC on Friday, Oct. 30, and No. 13 UCLA on Saturday, Oct. 31. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m.

CATCH THE CARDINAL: Fan's can catch both matches this week on KZSU radio at 90.1 FM or online at http://kzsu.stanford.edu/. Live stats will also be available both nights via Gametracker at www.GoStanford.com.

SOCIAL NETWORKING: Stanford Volleyball has joined Facebook and Twitter! Become a fan on Facebook by searching for the 'Stanford Women's Volleyball' page. Follow the Cardinal at twitter.com/StanfordWVB to get updates on the team this season. Both sites will be updated live during matches this year.

GAMEDAY PROMOTIONS: Friday's match against ASU has been tabbed Homecoming - Alumni night. All Stanford alumni will receive $2 general admission. Fans who attend Stanford's football game Saturday versus Arizona State will earn free admission to the volleyball match against Arizona on Sunday with their ticket stub from the game.

LAST WEEK: Stanford defeated Oregon State, 3-1, in Corvallis to remain perfect (49-0) against the Beavers all-time. Junior libero Gabi Ailes broke her own school record for digs in a match as she set a new career high with 32 digs. In the Cardinal's five-set loss at No. 15 Oregon, Alix Klineman totaled 24 kills, tying her season-high, while Cassidy Lichtman tuned in her sixth triple-double of the season with 17 kills, assists and digs.

TRIPLE THREAT: Junior Cassidy Lichtman has played several different positions for the Cardinal in her career. Currently, Lichtman is second on the team with 221 kills (3.35 kps) and is hitting .275. She is also second on the squad with 212 assists (3.21 aps) and 175 digs (2.65 dps). Lichtman more than doubled her career high in kills after registering 23 aginst LSU in the season opener. Against No. 5 Florida, Lichtman turned in her first career triple-double (16 kills, 17 assists, 11 digs) and versus San Jose State, the junior set a new career high, hitting .600 (10-1-15) against the Spartans. She now has six tiple-doubles on the season.

CHASING 1,000: Alix Klineman posted her 1,000th-career kill in the opening set of the match against Saint Mary's on Sept. 19. Klineman registered a season- and team-high 24 kills at USC on Oct. 3 and tied that mark at Oregon. The junior now has 1,157 career kills. She is the 12th Cardianl player to reach 1,000 career kills. The All-American leads the team and is sixth in the Pac-10 with 3.86 kills per set. She is on pace to finish her career at Stanford in the top-5 in career kills.

DIGGING HER WAY TO THE TOP: Junior libero Gabi Ailes has already claimed the top spot in the Stanford record book for digs in a season (533) and digs per set (4.26) in a season. With 1,342 digs to date, Ailes is currently third on the career list and will make a run for the record of 1,597 set by Kristin Richards from 2003-06. She needs 115 digs to move into second place on the career list. At Oregon State on Oct. 16, Ailes broke her own school record for digs in a match as she totaled 32 digs in the win.

BLOCK PARTY: Senior Janet Okogbaa is third in the Pac-10 and ranks 32nd nationally with 1.29 blocks per set. She registered a new career high with eight blocks against Florida on Sept. 4. Junior Alix Klineman's five solo blocks at UCLA are the most by a Pac-10 player this season. As a team, Stanford is 32nd in the country with 2.55 blocks per set, posting a season-high 15 blocks versus Washington on Oct. 10.

CONTROLLING THE OFFENSE: Freshman setter Karissa Cook has embraced the starting setter role for the Cardinal. She leads the team with 9.32 assists per set in conference matches, ranking 10th in the Pac-10. She tallied a season-best 49 assists at Oregon State on Oct. 16 and has posted six consecutive double-doubles for the Cardinal.

ALL-AMERICAN FIREPOWER: Stanford returns two-time All-American Alix Klineman for the 2009 season. The junior outside hitter is one of the nation's six returning first-team honorees, and one of only seven two-time All-Americans back for 2009. Klineman has led the team in kills in both of her first two seasons with the Cardinal. Stanford has won back-to-back Pac-10 championships and reached the national championship match during both of those years.

ALMOST PERFECT: Senior middle blocker Janet Okogbaa was 16-0-19 against Texas-San Antonio for a career high .842 hitting percentage, marking the highest attack percentage by a Pac-10 player this season. At the Honolulu Avertiser Volleyball Challenge, the Tampa, Fla., native was 36-2-77 (4.00 kps) and a .608 attack percentage.

NATIONAL POLL: Stanford dropped one spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll to No. 6 this week. Last week, the Cardinal defeated Oregon State before falling to then-No. 15 Oregon in five sets. Defending national champion Penn State remains in the top spot in the poll, while Texas, Hawai'i, Washington and Nebraska round out the top-5.

VETERAN LEADERSHIP: The 2009 Stanford squad will rely on its upperclassmen for leadership this year. The senior class of Joanna Evans, Alex Fisher and Janet Okogbaa holds an impressive 93-11 record through three seasons, earning three Pac-10 titles and three trips to the Final Four. Juniors Gabi Ailes, Alix Klineman and Cassidy Lichtman are all returning starters who have made significant contributions in their first two years on The Farm. Overall, the Cardinal boasts 10 players who have been to a national championship match, including six who have taken the team to the coveted match twice.

CATCH A GLIMPSE: Four of the Cardinal's conference matches will be televised on Fox Sports Net. The first three weekends of conference play, the Cardinal has been televised, including at California and at USC and versus Washington. The other TV match for Stanford is scheduled for Nov. 6 at Washington.

CHALK TALK/HOSPITALITY ROOM: The dates for the 2009 Chalk Talk and Hospitality Room for members of the Buck/Cardinal Club have been set. Coach Dunning's chalk talks will take place at 5 p.m. in the Maples Media Room on Oct. 31 vs. UCLA, Nov. 14 vs. Oregon State and Nov. 27 vs. California. The hospitality room will be availabe postgame Oct. 25 vs. Arizona and Nov. 14 vs. Oregon State in the Maples VIP Room.

PICKED THIRD: The Stanford women's volleyball team was tabbed by the league's coaches to finish third in the Pac-10. Stanford totaled 74 points in the preseason poll, six points below second-place California. Washington was the unanimous choice to win the conference. Once again, the Pac-10 sent six teams to the postseason in 2008. The conference has taken home five of the last eight NCAA titles. The coaches have correctly picked the Pac-10 champion in 13 of the previous 20 polls.

2008 IN REVIEW: In 2008, Stanford posted a 31-4 record and won an unprecedented 12th Pac-10 title. The team finished the year with a postseason run to its 14th NCAA title match, where it fell to Penn State in three sets. On the year, Stanford bested 16 ranked opponents, held a .314 average hitting percentage to just .164 by opponents, and won 23 matches by 3-0 margins. Three players - Foluke Akinradewo, Cynthia Barboza, Alix Klineman - were named First Team All-Americans, tying a school record for first team representatives. Akinradewo was also tabbed Volleyball Magazine Co-National Player of the Year after shattering the NCAA's career hitting percentage record by more than 20 points.

TAKING ON THE BEST: Once again, head coach John Dunning has lined up one of the most challenging schedules in the nation for the Cardinal. Stanford is scheduled to play 12 regular-season matches against teams ranked in the preseason poll, and 10 against teams that participated in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Four teams that made the preseason top-10 hail from the Pac-10 Conference.

HEAD COACH John Dunning: Now in his ninth season at the helm of the Cardinal program, head coach John Dunning is one of the most accomplished coaches in the collegiate volleyball world. Dunning has four national championships under his belt, has taken his teams to nine Final Fours and carried six of his eight teams at Stanford to the national championship match.

MILESTONE FOR DUNNING: Head coach John Dunning is 12 victories away from 700 career-wins, and could reach that milestone in 2009. In 24 years as a head coach, Dunning is 688-144 (.827), giving him a winning percentage that ranks among the top five all-time for Division I coaches. Dunning is 251-42, now in his ninth season on The Farm, and the all-time winningest coach in Pac-10 history by percentage (.857).

SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: After sweeping UCLA in its Pac-10 opener, ASU has lost six straight matches and stands at 1-6 in conference play. Junior outside hitter Sarah Reaves leads the team and ranks third in the Pac-10 with 4.39 kills per set. She is also tied for third in the conference with 5.17 points per set.

THE SERIES WITH THE SUN DEVILS: Stanford holds a 54-4 overall record against Arizona State. Last season, the Cardinal swept the Sun Devils in both matches. In fact, the last 10 meetings between the programs have been Stanford sweeps as the Cardinal are a perfect 16-0 against the Devils under head coach John Dunning. The last ASU victory was a 3-1 win during the 2000 season in Tempe.

SCOUTING ARIZONA: The Wildcats won their first 12 matches of the season before losing the next three. Now on a three-match win-streak, Arizona is tied for third in the Pac-10 and holds a No. 16 national ranking. Junior Tiffany Owens leads the Wildcats with 3.70 kills per set, ranking seventh in the conference, and 3.03 digs per set, good for 10th in the Pac-10. Junior setter Paige Weber has controlled the offence, averaging 10.58 assists per set.

THE SERIES WITH THE WILDCATS: The Cardinal is 52-6 all-time against the Wildcats. Stanford swept Arizona in both meetings a year ago. The last time the Wildcats were victorious at Maples Pavilion was Nov. 11, 2005. Arizona defeated Stanford twice that season, both coming in five sets.

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